Thursday, July 28, 2011

Devils trade Brian Rolston to Islanders for Trent Hunter

In a transaction I didn't see coming, the New Jersey Devils traded Brian Rolston to the New York Islanders for Trent Hunter in a swap of veteran forwards.

Certainly I could very easily bring up comparisons on age and salary alone. But it is very apparent the Devils were shedding a player in the twilight of his career who hasn't provided much bang for the buck since leaving the Minnesota Wild as a free agent following the 2007-2008 season.

Rolston's second tour of duty with New Jersey appeared to be rather a forgettable one. He scored 49 goals in 209 regular season games. If you add 3 goals in 12 playoff games over the 2009 and 2010 postseasons, he ended up with 52 goals in 221 games in the last three seasons wearing the red and black of the Devils. Rolston was a member of the Devils' 1995 and 2000 Stanley Cup championship teams.

But at age 38, what does Rolston bring to a young Islanders team? Leadership? Experience? Possible depth up front? Either way, don't expect much offense from him as he winds down his career. But remember that if you are a National Hockey League player, it's your all-around game that will allow you to have longevity in the league. This includes having to be successful on the defensive side of the puck.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow told Newsday's Katie Strang he likes the potential impact Rolston's leadership will bring to his hockey team.

"He's a winner that leads by example," Snow said. "He's a great addition to our locker room."

Hunter moves across the New York City metropolitan area from Long Island over to New Jersey with experience, but at only 31 years old, he's in the typical prime of one's career. Drafted in the sixth round back in 1998 by the Anaheim Ducks, Hunter didn't cement himself in the NHL until 2003 where he scored a career-best 25 goals in 77 regular season games. He only played 17 games last season before season-ending knee surgery back in February. Hunter hasn't been known much for his scoring, but he is expected to have enough offense to help the Devils out.

The two Atlantic Division rivals are each looking to return to the playoffs next spring. How much of a factor Rolston and Hunter will be remains to be seen.


New Jersey Devils official news release (July 28):
Devils deal for Trent Hunter

New York Islanders official news release (July 28):
Islanders acquire Rolston from New Jersey

The Bergen Record's Devils page (July 28):
Devils trade Brian Rolston in three-team trade

Newark Star-Ledger's Devils page (July 28):
Devils trade Brian Rolston to Islanders

Long Island Newsday's Islanders page (July 28):
Isles trade for Brian Rolston

In Lou We Trust (July 28):
Brian Rolston traded to the Islanders...

Lighthouse Hockey (July 28):
Analysis: Brian Rolston-Trent Hunter trade...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coyotes and Canucks swap February 2012 home dates

The Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks jointly announced they have swapped February 2012 home games during the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

Here is what the Coyotes posted on their official team web site:

The Phoenix Coyotes announced today that due to a scheduling conflict, the team's home game at Arena on Monday, February 13, 2012 versus the Vancouver Canucks has been moved to Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Start time for this game is set for 7:00 PM (Phoenix time). The Coyotes also announced that their road game at Vancouver which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th has been moved to Monday, February 13th. Start time for this game is 8:00 PM (Phoenix time).

The two Western Conference rivals will face other four times during the regular season.


Phoenix Coyotes official news release (July 27):
Coyotes announce schedule changes

Vancouver Canucks official news release (July 27):
Canucks announce schedule changes for the 2011-2012 season

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2011 Florida Panthers preseason schedule

The Florida Panthers announced their 2011 preseason schedule.

From the team's official news release:

The Florida Panthers today announced their six-game 2011 preseason schedule.

"We have put together a fantastic preseason schedule that has our club leaving Florida just once," said Florida Panthers executive vice president and general manager Dale Tallon. "This schedule gives our coaching staff valuable time to work with and prepare our players before the start of the season in October. Additionally, this schedule gives our fans ample opportunity to watch our team practice at home as well as to take in a special Hockey Day in South Florida doubleheader on September 19th."

Florida opens the preseason on Monday, September 19th with a doubleheader against the Nashville Predators that will take place on the Lexus Rink at the BankAtlantic Center. The first game will be played at 3:00 PM followed by the second game at 7:30 PM. Further information regarding the special events and promotions surrounding Hockey Day in South Florida will be announced at a later date.

Following the doubleheader, Florida will compete in a home-and-home set against the Tampa Bay Lightning (at Tampa Bay on Friday, September 23rd; vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday, September 24th). The Panthers host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, September 27th before closing out the preseason with a trip to Dallas on September 29th.

The Panthers' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 19* - vs. Nashville, 3:00 PM and 7:30 PM
September 23 - at Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
September 24 - vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
September 27 - vs. Dallas, 7:30 PM
September 29 - at Dallas, 8:30 PM



Florida Panthers official news release (July 26):
Panthers announce 2011 preseason schedule

South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Panthers blog (July 26):
Panthers open up preseason with home doubleheader on September 19th

Miami Herald's On Frozen Pond blog (July 26):
Florida Panthers finally unveil preseason schedule

Litter Box Cats (July 26):
Panthers (officially) release 2011 preseason schedule

Monday, July 25, 2011

BankAtlantic Center lower bowl seats to be red

The Florida Panthers announced earlier today that the interior of their home arena will certainly look noticeably different when the 2011 preseason begins in September.

We have seen the team's commitment to returning to red as its primary color with the recent unveiling of the new home jersey. Next, Panthers fans will see brand new red lower bowl seats installed inside BankAtlantic Center.

image courtesy: Florida Panthers

Here is what the Panthers had to say in their news release:

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment announced today that the Florida Panthers in partnership with South Florida based and nationally acclaimed Zimmerman Advertising are converting every seat in the BankAtlantic Center's lower bowl to red. The change is in conjunction with the Panthers "We See Red" marketing campaign and return to red as the franchise's primary uniform color.

When the Panthers take the ice on opening night, October 15th in their new red home jerseys, all 8,689 lower bowl seats will be permanently changed to red as well. The seats are being changed to red as part of a multi-year marketing partnership between the Panthers and Zimmerman Advertising in which the Zimmerman logo will appear on the front of each lower bowl seat.

"While the 'We See Red' campaign signifies the passion, aggressiveness, commitment to winning and new blood in this Panthers team, fans will also see an aesthetic shift as well in our new jerseys, and thanks to Zimmerman Advertising, in all of the lower bowl seats at the BankAtlantic Center," said SSE president & COO Michael Yormark. "There's no doubt that with these changes and some other big announcements we have coming soon, that our fans will be 'seeing red' and enjoying a whole new in-game experience at the BankAtlantic Center this season."

"We look forward to the upcoming Panthers season given all the new changes and their 'See Red' attitude," said Jordan Zimmerman, chairman and founder of Zimmerman Advertising. "I wanted to make sure to be at every game personally and/or in spirit , so putting our company name on over 8,000 seats did just that."

Either way, it is a refreshing visual new look for Panthers fans to look forward to in addition to the free agent signings and trades general manager Dale Tallon has made so far this summer. Seeing red inside their home arena is what some Panthers fans already feel is a welcomed change.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sharks announce 2011-2012 third jersey schedule

The San Jose Sharks announced today when they will wear their alternate jersey for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

The defending Pacific Division champions have primarily Thursday and Friday night games slated for their fans to see the team in action sporting the black alternate uniform. Only one Saturday game is on the alternate jersey schedule, that being on April 7th against the Los Angeles Kings.

Here is the full alternate jersey schedule as posted on the official team web site:

November 3 - vs. Pittsburgh
November 10 - vs. Minnesota
November 17 - vs. Detroit
December 1 - vs. Montréal
December 8 - vs. Dallas
December 15 - vs. Colorado
December 23 - vs. Los Angeles
January 5 - vs. Columbus
January 19 - vs. Ottawa
February 2 - vs. Dallas
February 10 - vs. Chicago
March 1 - vs. Buffalo
March 15 - vs. Nashville
March 22 - vs. Boston
April 7 - vs. Los Angeles

NOTE: The third jersey schedule subject to change.

2011 New York Rangers preseason schedule

The New York Rangers announced their 2011 preseason schedule. They are the home team for the September 21st game.

From the team's official news release:

The New York Rangers announced their 2011 preseason schedule today, featuring four games in Europe and a total of seven games.

The Rangers 2011 preseason schedule will open with a pair of games against the New Jersey Devils, beginning on Wednesday, September 21st at Times Union Center in Albany, New York and continuing on Friday, September 23rd at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

New York will then match-up against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, September 26th at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia before traveling to four European countries for four exhibition contests in five days. The Rangers will face-off against HC Sparta on Thursday, September 29th in Prague, Czech Republic before heading to Gothenburg, Sweden to face Frölunda on Friday, September 30th. The Blueshirts will close out their 2011 preseason schedule with a back-to-back set vs. HC Slovan on Sunday, October 2nd in Bratislava, Slovakia and vs. EV Zug on Monday, October 3rd in Zug, Switzerland.

New York will open their 2011-2012 regular season schedule with a pair of games in Stockholm, Sweden against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, October 7th and the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, October 8th.

The 2011 New York Rangers training camp begins with players reporting to the Madison Square Garden Training Center on Friday, September 16th.

The Rangers' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 21 - vs. New Jersey (in Albany, NY), 7:00 PM
September 23 - at New Jersey, 7:00 PM
September 26 - at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM
September 29 - vs. HC Sparta (in Prague), 1:00 PM
September 30 - vs. Frölunda (in Gothenburg, Sweden), 1:00 PM
October 2 - vs. HC Slovan (in Bratislava, Slovakia), 11:00 AM
October 3 - vs. EV Zug (in Zug, Switzerland), 2:00 PM


New York Rangers official news release (July 20):
Rangers announce 2011 preseason schedule

The Journal News' Rangers Report blog (July 20):
Official announcement of Rangers' preseason schedule

The Bergen Record's Ranger Rants blog (July 20):
Full preseason schedule revealed

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2011 Philadelphia Flyers preseason schedule

The Philadelphia Flyers announced their 2011 preseason schedule. They are the home team for the September 22nd game.

From the team's official news release:

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Monday that the team will play a seven-game exhibition schedule prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season, featuring three games at the Wells Fargo Center and a game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Global Spectrum-managed John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.

The Flyers are visiting the John Labatt Centre for the ninth time; however, it is the first time they'll play the Red Wings there. The arena is managed by Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Flyers parent company Comcast-Spectacor. Global Spectrum manages more than 100 public assembly facilities around the world.

"London truly is our home away from home," said Comcast-Spectacor president and Global Spectrum chairman Peter Luukko. "The fan support in London for the Flyers is outstanding. The John Labatt Centre is a fantastic hockey arena that our players enjoy visiting. To be playing the Detroit Red Wings in London is a dream match-up for hockey fans in southwestern Ontario and eastern Michigan. It's going to be a terrific night of hockey in the City of London."

The Flyers' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 20 - at Toronto, TBA
September 21 - vs. Toronto, 7:00 PM
September 22 - vs. Detroit (in London, Ontario), TBA
September 23 - at Detroit, TBA
September 26 - vs. New York Rangers, 7:00 PM
September 29 - vs. New Jersey, 7:00 PM
October 1 - at New Jersey, TBA

2011 Vancouver Canucks preseason schedule

The Vancouver Canucks announced their 2011 preseason schedule.

From the team's official news release:

The Vancouver Canucks released their 2011 pre-season schedule today featuring eight games beginning September 20th and concluding October 1st. The Canucks begin the pre-season with a split squad playing one game at home and one game away against Calgary on September 20th. Both games will begin at 7:00 PM Pacific Time. Vancouver will play the remaining six games both home and away against the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.

In total, the Canucks will play four pre-season games at Rogers Arena and four on the road. Each game features a Western Conference match-up: Anaheim (2), Calgary (2), Edmonton (2) and San Jose (2).

The Canucks' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 20* - at Calgary, 9; vs. Calgary, 10:00 PM
September 22 - at Edmonton, 9:00 PM
September 24 - vs. Anaheim, 10:00 PM
September 25 - vs. San Jose, 9:00 PM
September 28 - at Anaheim, 10:00 PM
September 29 - at San Jose, 10:30 PM
October 1 - vs. Edmonton, 10:00 PM

*split squad games

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Dallas Stars preseason schedule

The Dallas Stars announced their 2011 preseason schedule.

From the team's official news release:

The Dallas Stars announced today that the club will play a total of seven pre-season contests in 2011, including three at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Dallas will begin training camp in Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), Canada, for the second consecutive year on Friday, September 16th. The Stars' first pre-season game will coincide with the team's trip back to Texas, playing at Montréal on Tuesday, September 20th.

The Stars begin the home portion of their pre-season schedule hosting the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, September 22nd. The Stars will also host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, September 24th and the Florida Panthers on Thursday, September 29th.

The Stars' 2011 preseason schedule is as follows:
(game start times are in Eastern Time)

September 20 - at Montréal, 7:30 PM
September 22 - vs. Colorado, 8:30 PM
September 24 - vs. St. Louis, 8:00 PM
September 25 - at Colorado, 8:00 PM
September 27 - at Florida, 7:00 PM
September 29 - vs. Florida, 8:30 PM
October 1 - at St. Louis, 2:30 PM